« Sixteen Lines: Tenth Line | Main | Sixteen Lines: Twelfth Line »

Sixteen Lines: Eleventh Line

So. There we are, all of us, the Man, the Woman, the Husband, the Child, the Governmental Authority and the Other Clergyman, and the last two mentioned have threatened to have the Child taken away from the Woman and raised with a foster family. The Woman is distraught.

My poor woman, the child will be well cared for—far better than thou canst do it.

Nearly-Legendary Director gave the note, early in the rehearsal process, that my line should top the previous line, meaning (he explained) that it should be both higher in pitch and greater in intensity. This is the secret to interrupting, he said. This makes very good sense, and is a lesson learned.

Unfortunately, the Woman’s line is You shall not take her from me. I shall die first!

I do give my line at a higher pitch and with substantial intensity (if not actually greater intensity than the cue line, which is difficult to measure), but it isn’t easy. And having interrupted at that pitch, I have some difficulty with the rest of the line. The way it goes, now, is that the first word my is nearly at the top of my range, then drops quite a bit to poor and then drops again to a very repressive woman. I suppose I could pick out the notes on the piano, but it seems to my ear to make a chord with the three falling notes. Mypoorwoman. In, actually, increasing volume.

Then I can go back up a bit to will and then down again and then up again to thou with a little twist upward on the last word. So. Exhibiting a bit of vocal range on that line.

As for our earlier questions, I’m pretty much against everything here: the Woman, the Child, the thou. Even the better is focused not on what my character is for but on what he is against, that is, the better is in contrast to what I am really talking about. I am also choosing to have my character speak this line directly to the Woman and for her (its meaning being, essentially, shut up and do what I tell you, stupid female person) rather than speaking for the benefit of the Governmental Authority. Which would have been a legitimate choice, emphasizing the Other Clergyman’s sycophantic nature. It would change that better to a for, either sincere or otherwise, as an attempt to convince that Governmental Authority of my character’s good intentions.

Alas, it is not a story about relationship between the Governmental Authority and the Other Clergyman; our job is to support the story about the Man, the Woman and the Husband, and given a viable choice with my lines and character to do that, we go with the one that does that.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian.